Is there Life before Coffee

Coffee is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

Ben Franklin would had said that if he drank coffee.
Copyright Jim Davis

I am writing this as I sit on a friend’s porch that overlooks a nature preserve on the west side of Florida.  It is early morning, and the birds are starting their days by tweeting. Actual tweets, without any hashtags or pictures.  They are old-school that way.

The coffee steam is slowly dancing in the sky, meeting the colors of clouds. 

Few things beat a morning brew and watching nature come alive.  The only thing that exceeds that is coffee in the clouds, but that is another post for another day.

There is a magic moment in the morning when you take that first sip for most coffee drinkers that the world seems to be at peace. It is that first sip that we live for that we wake up.

It was on a backpacking trip recently that I learned that sad truth about coffee, backpacking, and the morning.  There is life without coffee…

Shocking, I know.

So how did I discover this sad truth about life? It started the night before when I decided to dump a lemon/lime electrolyte packet into my water.  After hiking 16 miles with a thirty-pound pack, I was a little parched and decided to hydrate myself for the next day.  I was only halfway through my drink when I went to bed that night, and after being woken up by a bull bellowing next to me at 2 a.m., my mind wasn’t in a good place to make rational decisions, like not using the leftover water from the night before.

Ferdinand, the bull who woke me up at 2 a.m.

I was ready for my first sip of the magical brew.  Not thinking, I dumped the water (with the lemon/lime concoction) into the pot and took myself off to do my morning constitutional with the hope of having a fine brew of coffee (or the closes thing that you can have with the instant stuff) when I was done.

I took one sip and realized what I had done, lemon/lime electro pack, instant coffee and cream with water from the nearby alligator-infested, cow bathing water – was not good.

It was tangy in a way that no coffee should ever be. There is a big reason why you never see lemon/lime flavor coffee or creamer.  It is gross!

As I looked down at my poor drink, sitting there, and realizing what I had done. I had made probably one of the most basic mistakes in backpacking.

I was also about 20 miles from civilization and the nearest gas station or Starbucks.  So, I would have to continue my hike without the joys of coffee and the sad, awful truth, there is life before and after coffee.

And it is horrible.

A sad day for anyone who is drinks coffee.

There are two lessons I learned.

First, the night before – prepare your water and leave it to the side so that in the morning, you aren’t tempted to dump your lemon/lime electrolyte-infused water into the pot to be heated up.

And second, always carry extra coffee packs with you when you hike, so in the case that you use your electrolyte flavored water – you have backups.


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